Detour (1945)

You should be watching the Bruins and Blackhawks battle for the Stanley Cup or a baseball game, preferably the Red Sox. Or you should be biking, barbecuing, or swimming. However, if you really want to take in a movie, I recommend Detour (1945). Edgar Ulmer's masterwork is barely over an hour, making it a nice […]

I Married A Witch (1942)

I Married A Witch is Rene Clair's perfect little comedy confection of a movie. Veronica Lake is at her peak, just slightly drawing attention from the great Fredric March and Cecil Kellaway. Susan Hayward also leaves an impression in an early supporting role. Robert Benchley gives a reliably fine performance. Lake is a long-dormant 17th […]

Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

From its first shot, Leave Her to Heaven proves that film noir need not be in black and white or in an urban setting to be a great example of the genre. Director John Stahl uses lurid technicolor in the New Mexico and Maine wilderness to provide an atmosphere that is as effectively unsettling as […]

Holiday Movies

It’s the season for parties, decorations, fireside relaxation, and holiday movies. Many holiday movies. Too many holiday movies. Old holiday movies. New holiday movies. Some classics and some dreck. I’ll focus on the classics–at least, the better. We’ve all seen It’s A Wonderful Life (1945). If you haven’t, you must. It’s not just a Christmas […]

The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator (2004) is a period epic that isn’t hurt by it’s technical mastery, especially rare for a biopic or historical movie of this grand a scale. UnlikeTitanic, this one has heart and soul and doesn’t feel like it’s way too long. Above all else is a masterful Oscar-nominated performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, with strong […]

The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

“Killing you is killing myself.” Everett Sloane to Rita Hayworth Sometimes the parts are greater than the whole. Exhibit A is The Lady From Shanghai. Tags: 1940s, cult movies, drama, film noir, U.S.